The holidays sort of snuck up on me this year. I don’t know why Thanksgiving or Black Friday or that guy with the bucket and the bell outside of Walgreens all day did not serve as a heads up, but earlier this week it dawned on me that if I was planning to make ornaments for my people( yeah, I have people…I’m cool like that), I had better come up with something that was quick, easy, and gorgeous. Look at the pictures below, and you will see that the red skull mask and the personalized plastic cup really do not fill the bill – but thankfully, these clay ornaments do!
Here are the materials I used:
- Paper Clay
- Non-stick mat
- Rolling Pin
- Cookie Cutters
- Plastic drinking straw
- Oil Pastels(I used metallic ones) or Crayons
- India Ink for paper clay or Black Acrylic for Poly clay
- Soft Brush
- Krylon or other clear sealant
The process is similar to making a cookie out of clay, so you can even do these with your kids and expect beautiful results .
Begin by rolling a piece of the paper clay in to a ball and working it in your hands a bit until it becomes pliable and smooth. This is the kind I used.
Lay the ball of clay on a non-stick mat and roll it out to just a bit more than a 1/4″ thickness. Do your best to keep it nice and level .
Use a rubber stamp to impress a texture in to the surface of the clay. If you have rubber stamps made for clay, that’s great, but you can use regular rubber stamps as well.
Cut out ornament shape with a cookie cutter. You can use any shape but I find the metal ones make a cleaner edge. If the edges are a bit ragged when you cut them out just wet your finger and smooth them out. I am not a certified health inspector but if you wash these in hot water afterwards I do not see why you could not still use them to make cookies. Then again, I am an Elementary school teacher who is blessed with, as Sarah described it, a lead-lined immune system so take my hygiene advice at your own peril .
Use a drinking straw to poke a hole in the top so you can hang it up.
Let dry overnight or until the clay is hard .
When ornaments are dry, use an oil pastel or crayon to color the raised areas. Use a lot of pressure to cover the clay completely. I used my finger to sort of blend the colors together and force the oil pastel in to the clay.
Use a soft brush to cover the entire front and back with India Ink (or black acrylic paint). Wear a disposable glove if you would rather your hands not look like this !
Before the ink / paint has a chance to dry, rinse it off. You may need to use a little paper towel or your fingers to rub some ink from the oil pastel or crayon.
Let them dry until you can pick them up without transferring ink to your hands and then spray with Krylon or other clear fixative.
Add a ribbon, a wire hangers, beads or whatever you wish to display. I like to tie them to a package like a gift tag as well.